Economics 202.03

Macroeconomic Theory

Fall 2009
 

LAST UPDATED: Tuesday, November 24, 2009

 

Classes

Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:00 - 4:15 PM

Location: Carney 106

 

Professor Matteo Iacoviello
21 Campanella Way, Room 470
Tel: 552-3689
E-mail:
iacoviel@bc.edu
Web page:
http://www2.bc.edu/~iacoviel/ 

 

Office Hours: Wednesdays, 2.00 – 3.00 pm and by appointment

 

Teaching Assistant: Taesu Kang [kangta@bc.edu ]

 

Discussion classes location and time: Thursday 5 PM, Room Carney 303

Course email: ec20203f@bc.edu

 

 

Course Description, Textbook, Grading, Course Schedule, Additional Information

 

 

Course Description

This course covers the theory and practice of macroeconomics. Among the questions that we will answer: why are some nations rich and some other poor? What determines the inflation and the unemployment rate? How can we devise policies to improve economic performance?

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Textbook and Syllabus

Macroeconomics, Seventh edition, by Gregory N.Mankiw, Worth Publishers, 2009 (Chapters 1 to 13 and 15 to 18 inclusive)

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Grading

Grading will be based on:

-         Mid-term exam [ 40% ] : Thursday, October 29, 2009

-         Final exam [ 60% ] : TBA

 

Grading policy and related stuff:

The mid-term counts for 40% of the final mark, and will contain questions on the material that we cover until the week before the Mid-Term. If you get a grade you like, you will sit the remaining 60% of the exam in the Final exam (that is, you will not have to answer questions on the material covered in the Mid-Term). The final mark will be a weighted average of the two marks.

 

In borderline cases, class participation and homework will determine your grade. For instance, if your grade is A-/B+, I will consider quality of your homework and/or your class participation to decide whether you get A- or B+.

 

If you get a grade you do not like or you do not take the mid-term, you can sit the entire exam in December. In case you do, the grade will be just the one you get in the final exam.

 

The exam format is similar to the examples given below.

The 2003 Mid-Term with sketch answers is available here

The 2003 Final with sketch answers is available here

The 2007 Mid-Term with sketch answers is here

The 2007 Final with sketch answers is here

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Course Schedule

The schedule is tentative. I will update and amend it as we move on.

In general, the links to my class notes and to the solutions for the problem sets will be active after each class.

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DAY

CLASS

HOMEWORK DUE

AND DISCUSSIONS

(I refer to Problems and applications in Mankiw’s textbook)

CLASS NOTES

1

Tue

8-Sep

THE SCIENCE OF MACROECONOMICS (M1)

 

1

2

Thu

10-Sep

THE DATA OF MACROECONOMICS (M2)

 

2

3

Tue

15-Sep

 

 

 

4

Thu

17-Sep

NATIONAL INCOME (M3)

 

3

5

Tue

22-Sep

 

 

 

6

Thu

24-Sep

MONEY AND INFLATION (M4)

CHAPTER 1: P3

CHAPTER 2: P4, P5, P8

CH.3: P1, P3, P4, P6, P8, P9

SOLUTIONS PS1

4

7

Tue

29-Sep

 

 

 

8

Thu

1-Oct

OPEN ECONOMY (M5)

 

 

9

Tue

6-Oct

UNEMPLOYMENT (M6)

 

5

10

Thu

8-Oct

GROWTH (M7, M8)

CH.4: P2, P6, P10

CH.5: P2, P3

SOLUTIONS PS2

 

6

11

Tue

13-Oct

 

 

7

12

Thu

15-Oct

 

 

8

13

Tue

20-Oct

 

 

 

14

Thu

22-Oct

INTRO TO ECONOMIC FLUCTUATIONS (M9)

CH.6: P1, P2, P3

CH7: P1, P2, P3, P6

CH8: P2, P5

SOLUTIONS PS3

9

15

Tue

27-Oct

AGGREGATE DEMAND (M10-M11)

 

 

 

10

11

16

Thu

29-Oct

MID-TERM

 

 

17

Tue

3-Nov

 

 

 

18

Thu

5-Nov

 

 

 

19

Tue

10-Nov

 

AGGREGATE DEMAND IN OPEN ECONOMY (M12)

 

12

20

Thu

12-Nov

AGGREGATE SUPPLY (M13)

CH9: P1, P2, P3

CH10: P1, P2, P3, P4, P5

CH 11: P1, P2, P3, P4, P6, P7, P8

SOLUTIONS PS4

13

21

Tue

17-Nov

 

 

 

22

Thu

19-Nov

STABILIZATION POLICY (M15)

 

15

23

Tue

24-Nov

GOVERNMENT DEBT (M16)

CH 12: P2, P4, P5

CH 13: P2, P6, P7

CH 15: P1

SOLUTIONS PS5

16

24

Tue

1-Dec

CONSUMPTION (M17)

 

17

 

25

Thu

3-Dec

 

 

 

26

Tue

8 Dec

INVESTMENT (M18)

 

18

27

Thu

10 Dec

 

CH 16 : P3

CH 17 : P2, P3

CH 18 : P2, P3

SOLUTIONS PS6

 

  

 

Additional Information

Below is a sparse and random collection of economics websites that I often look at.

 

1) The Economist news magazine has an excellent coverage of world economic (and political) events.

 

2) Some useful macro blogs that I read contain lots of detailed information and informed comments on current economic events. They are worthwhile reading if you want to have an idea of how good economists read and interpret economic events using macroeconomics.

 

http://www.econbrowser.com/ by Jim Hamilton and Menzie Chinn

 

http://macroblog.typepad.com/macroblog/ by David Altig

 

Brad De Long’s website is a useful source of information on a variety of economic events in the news.

 

3) The Economic Report of the Presidentincludes; 1) current and foreseeable trends and annual numerical goals concerning topics such as employment, production, real income and Federal budget outlays; 2) employment objectives for significant groups of the labor force; 3) annual numeric goals; and 4) a program for carrying out program objectives”

 

4) The OECD collects a comprehensive set of international economic stastitics on its member countries

Most up-to-date economic data for the US can be found at the St. Louis Fed FRED database

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